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Washington state university mfa creative writing

Creative Writing

Western Washington University’s English Department offers a 2-year MFA program in Creative Writing within a community that values creative development and intellectual versatility. We encourage a focus on multigenre or cross-genre writing, based on our view that creative writing graduates need to be versatile in their comprehension of genre conventions and conversant in the way diverse genres inform one another. A variety of courses we offer stress either a multigenre focus or encourage experimental works that blur genre boundaries.

Creative writing practice and literary study are synergistic in our program. Students take seminars in creative writing and literature, as well as courses in rhetorical thinking and composition, digital and technical writing, film studies, and linguistics. We offer Graduate Assistantships that provide quality teacher training, as well as opportunities to gain editorial experience with the award-winning journal Bellingham Review.


The MFA program in English is designed for those who desire to prepare for:

  • Life as a serious author, with an understanding of the literary marketplace and publication
  • PhD programs, as well as other advanced degrees in fields such as law or teaching
  • Teaching at both two- and four-year colleges and universities
  • Public or private teaching (elementary, middle, secondary)
  • Careers in technical writing and communication
  • Careers in editing and publishing
  • Careers in nonprofit and other business organizations

The Bellingham Review

A literary journal produced by Creative Writing and English graduate students, The Bellingham Review is known for innovative poetry, fiction, nonfiction and hybrid works.

Washington state university mfa creative writing


The MFA program at Washington State University is a three year program that encourages an interdisciplinary approach to studio practice.

During their time in the program, students meet regularly with a range of faculty members for group and individual critiques. Regular visiting artists and scholars meet with graduate students one on one to provide a diversity of insight into their creative work. At the end of the second semester, MFA students participate in a first year review show in Gallery 2 with one other grad student. The thesis exhibit takes place during April of the third year and is held at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU. There is an art history/theory seminar each fall semester and a practical seminar the spring of the first year.

Students are assigned private studios and have 24 hour access to the art building, which is located near the center of campus.

The MFA program includes approximately 14 students in total.

Teaching assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis by the faculty and College. Most teaching assistantships include a full tuition waiver (once in-state status is granted), about $13,000 in an annual stipend, and health insurance.

Many of the teaching assistantships include teaching responsibilities as teacher of record for one class per semester. Additionally, 11 hours of service work per week is required of each teaching assistant. Smaller MFA scholarships that range between $1,000 and $8,000 are available annually. In 2014, over $200,000 of assistantships and scholarships were awarded to MFA students.

WSU accepts applications to the MFA program once a year. The deadline for applications is January 15 for a Fall admission.

All questions about the program and the application process should be directed to the department’s Graduate Coordinator, Reza Safavi ([email protected])

Reza Safavi
Associate Professor: Digital Media Coordinator, Graduate Coordinator
E: [email protected]
T: (509) 335-3180
Office: Fine Arts 7017


For instructions on applying for the MFA program, go to:

Please scroll down at the above link to read additional requirement of departmental Portfolio submission link.